Gripping Sheath for Extraction

Technology #2012-070

Extraction of chronically implanted leads from pacemakers and defibrillators is difficult because the leads become scarred into position. Several tools are being developed to separate leads from scar tissue. However, a major challenge is the inability to “grip” or “grab” the lead to apply traction for removal. Proximal traction results in the lead uncoiling, as leads do not accommodate significant longitudinal force. Internal expanding stylets at times overcome this, but require an intact central lumen. The present concept is for a sheath with an internal balloon to “grip” or “grab” a lead as the sheath is advanced. This permits traction over the entire lead for which a sheath has access. This could be incorporated into sheaths with lasers at the distal end, or other cutting tools so that after the distal tool is advanced, a firmer grip on the lead may be obtained.